B2B Website Best Practices And Marketing Strategy (Detailed Walkthrough)

Wandering Aimfully Through Running A Business

B2B Website Best Practices And Marketing Strategy (Detailed Walkthrough)

This is the third installment of a series we're calling "Growing Through It" where we reimagine a member of our community's business.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

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Jason Zook

If you’re a B2B business owner looking for website best practices and overall marketing strategy to get more paying clients, this case study will show you what steps to take!

Welcome to our series called Growing Through It where we makeover a member of our community’s business (and you get to follow along and learn tips and strategies for your own business).

Growing Through It by Wandering Aimfully

We’re going to offer suggestions of how you can take advantage of this collective slow down that we’re all going through and come back even more strategic and even better when this is all over. If you’re a business owner trying to figure out what the heck to work on right now, we want to help you strengthen the foundation of your business with this series.

In this third installment of Growing Through It, you’ll meet Andrew. Andrew left his corporate marketing career to start his own marketing agency (Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹). Andrew needed help getting clarity on his website copy and figuring out how to position his marketing services to sound less generic to his potential clients.

For some reason, I (Jason) just started yelling HOTCANOOOO every time we worked on Andrew’s case study. Feel free to shout it out loud in your mind too! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Here’s what we’ll go through specifically in this case study:

Meet Andrew, from Hotcano

๐ŸŽฌ Watch us reimagine Andrew’s (HOTCANOOO ๐ŸŒ‹) business using our 5-step checklist

If you’re a video fan, watch the entire case study unfold in the embedded video below. Otherwise, you can keep scrolling and we’ve written everything out for you. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

 

 


Introduction: We’re Going To Give B2B Website Best Practices To A Digital Marketer Looking To Get More Clients

Andrew is the owner of Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹, a digital marketing agency helping small and mid-sized businesses increase their profits and run their businesses more efficiently.

Andrew left the corporate marketing world to start his own version of a marketing agency where he can help local businesses use modern marketing solutions to grow their sales and profitability. Andrew doesn’t just want to get paid to do marketing for these folks, he wants to be seen as a true strategic partner and is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Andrew’s biggest struggle right now is that his web presence isn’t helping him get leads and new clients. He knows the digital marketing landscape so well and trusts his own expertise, but he’s not sure how to clearly explain that to prospective customers through copy, content, and his service packages.

Whether you run a B2B business (like HOTCANOOO) or not, can you relate to the feeling of KNOWING you do great work but struggling to articulate that through your website and messaging?

We hope the recommendations we make for Andrew throughout this case study are steps that can help YOU more clearly explain what you do and how you do it to the right people.

 

 


Step 1: Establishing The Brand Foundation (Who Why What How)

Establishing The Brand Foundation

When it comes to your brand foundation, your brand isn’t just your logo and your colors. It’s about having clarity on who you help, why you want to help those people, what you do to help them, and how you help them.

Note: We WILL get to some simple branding and design tweaks in Step #5.

One of the first things we did with Andrew’s business ๐ŸŒ‹ was to try to answer these questions and then share the tweaks we’d make to build a more compelling and clear brand foundation.

Answering the 4 Brand Foundation questions: Who? Why? What? How?

1. Who do you help? (Audience)

Front and center on Andrew’s website, he’s speaking directly to his ideal audience (small and mid-sized businesses).

But… one of the challenges when you use a generic customer-bucket like “small and mid-sized businesses” is that it’s hard for potential customers to know if they are the RIGHT small/mid-size biz you help.

We’re sure many of you can relate to Andrew in this regard. He CAN help different types of businesses and he wants to have diversity in his client roster. For Andrew, we decided to have him hone in as much as possible on the problems these folks have and use that as the connective thread, instead of niching down specifically on what type of business they might run.

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ If you are just starting out with your business or you really want to serve a wide variety of customers, instead of niching down on the type of customer, try to get more specific on the exact problems they have that you can solve and use that as your common denominator.

We further defined Andrew’s potential clients’ problems by saying: They work hard but donโ€™t have the time or bandwidth to invest in marketing strategy even though they want to grow.

Andrew's ideal customer and their problems

2. Why do you help those people? (Mission/Differentiator)

We like to think about the “why” question in two ways:

  1. Why does your business exist? (This is your mission)
  2. Why would someone choose your business over another? (This is your differentiator)

One of the things we noticed right away when chatting with Andrew was how much he cared. His integrity and honesty really shine through. He’s not just trying to sell companies marketing services, he genuinely wants to help them (+1000 brownie points to HOTCANOOO!)

We have to give Andrew credit, he was already clearly displaying his why statement on the homepage of his website.

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ If you’re finding it hard to write a mission statement for your company it might be worth asking yourself the honest question, is this really the business I want to be running and the people I want to be serving? #realtalk

The Hotcano mission statement is: Our mission is to disrupt the traditional agency model by bringing accountability and transparency to marketing services and becoming the true partner small businesses are looking for to help grow their businesses.

Why do you help exercise

3. What benefit does your help provide? (Benefit)

Most people get this question wrong by listing out all the features of the service they offer (it’s a common mistake we’ve made in the past too!) The better version of the what question at this point is: What specific outcome does your business provide your customer?

For Andrew, he had a really great section on the homepage of website where he listed out these problem/solution tables:

Hotcano Problem Solutions

This is great, but the focus is much more on Hotcano and less on the client and what outcome Hotcano is going to get them. (more on that in a bit!)

Buried within some paragraph text of the website we finally found the core benefit: Hotcano helps businesses grow their company sales and increase long-term profitability.

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ If you’re having trouble writing out a clear benefit statement about your business take a step back and ask yourself what the end result of your work will provide to someone. How does your product or service ultimately make their life better?

What do you do exercise

4. How do you help people? (Offering)

Alright folks, now, you may be thinking, “Andrew’s nailing these foundation questions, does he even need you Zooks??”

You’d be totally right. Andrew has nailed all the foundation questions up until… now.

Sinister Sideshow Bob

One of the biggest areas of improvement we saw for Andrew was in how he was explaining his service offerings. The truth is, it was hard to clearly summarize what Andrew offers because the messaging vacillated between being too broad (marketing plans) and too scattered (marketing, creative, music production, website, analytics, social…)

We’ll go much deeper on how we helped Andrew improve his offering in a second, but to really get crystal clear on this part of his business foundation, we suggested this statement: Hotcano offers custom digital marketing strategy, specifically in the areas of marketing technology, content and creative.

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ Are you having a hard time writing your Services or Product page? It might be that you don’t have clarity on exactly what you offer (too many things). Give yourself permission to CHOOSE HARD and experiment with different offerings for a month at a time. What resonated most with potential customers (and you)?

How do you help exercise

To recap the Brand Foundation…

๐Ÿ‘ฅ WHO: Andrew’s audience is small and mid-sized *local* businesses that work hard but donโ€™t have the time or bandwidth to invest in marketing strategy.

๐Ÿงญ WHY: His mission is to promote transparency and accountability within the marketing agency world.

โšก๏ธ WHAT: His benefit is increased sales and long-term profitability for his clients.

๐Ÿ“ HOW: His offering is a custom digital marketing strategy around a specific business goal (or multiple goals).

These four questions now clearly define Andrew’s business foundation, and they give him clarifying messaging points to move forward with. We can use this information to go through the next four steps on our 5-step checklist!

โšก๏ธ ACTION STEP FOR YOU โšก๏ธ Answer the Who, Why, What, and How questions for your own business. Keep these answers in a Google Doc, Note, or PDF you can reference often. You’ll want to have them handy as we move forward in our 5-step process.

 


Step 2: Product or Service Offering

Step 2 Your Offerings

The product or service you sell is your castle. And this castle of yours sits on an island in the middle of the ocean. As much as you may want to tell people your castle exists, your product or service offering must be in tip-top shape before you start leading people to it.

Your castle is your “how” from Step 1. It’s the thing you do that people can pay you for. The door to that castle will most likely be a specific Services page for all you B2B owners reading this (or anyone trying to get clients).

The question to ask yourself with your Services page is:

Does your castle confuse your potential customer and is it unlikely someone will buy right away?

As we dug into Andrew’s castle and tried to figure out exactly what “digital marketing services” meant for Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹, we stumbled upon this section of his website:

Hotcano service offering circles

Now, design and readability aside, it’s A LOT.

That’s eight different services, all with 3-5 “sub-services” underneath each one.

Like Andrew, we consider ourselves good at a lot of things too. ๐Ÿ˜ But… your customers don’t need to know you do ALL. THE. THINGS., especially right out of the gate. If anything, you should tell them you do fewer things because too many options will only cause analysis paralysis for them and narrowing it down actually projects a sense of confidence and expertise.

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ When you show a potential customer/client everything you CAN do, you end up coming off like you donโ€™t have an expertise in any one thing. Don’t be afraid to be a specialist, you’ll likely find yourself getting way more work than if you’re a generalist (without a clear problem you can solve for someone).

Andrew’s ideal customer, a busy small/mid-sized business owner is likely going to be overwhelmed by all those options. So, we decided to pull them all out of the circles and take a longer look at them. We also asked Andrew out of all the things listed, which services does he actually find that his past clients ask for most?

Hotcano service offerings

Great, that’s actually a bit more visually manageable, but honestly, we didn’t solve the problem of too many options. What we decided would be more helpful would be to organize these different marketing offerings into buckets:

Hotcano service offerings organized

Now, the visualization of this isn’t that much less confusing, but again we’re not really at the design phase yet (ahem, Step #5). The point of this part of the journey we were on with Andrew was to organize his offerings in more concise buckets that his potential customers could identify with.

The three main new marketing buckets (Tech, Content, Creative) are soooo much more understandable for a small biz owner. Each bucket relates to a different area of how they run their business that they never may have thought was called “marketing” before.

Then, we decided to help Andrew identify his KEY service offerings. These will be highlighted big and bold on his home page and new Services page (which, of course, we redesigned).

Hotcano Key Services

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ Remember that the lingo you use about the industry you’re in may not be how your customers think about things. Try to avoid grouping every problem a customer might have into one LARGE category, and instead, create smaller categories that speak to different problems that you can offer solutions for.

Are you treating your SERVICES too much like purchasing a PRODUCT?

One of the “truths of the B2B world” (a phrase I just made up) is that purchasing services is not the same as purchasing products. While we applaud Andrew’s creativity on his Services page and his idea of making marketing services pricing as transparent as buying a subscription to Netflix, it was simply very unlikely that anyone was going to click a BUY button on any of these packages and add a $10,000 marketing plan “to their cart.” (We also verified with Andrew that all his clients had closed via other channels, not just purchasing a plan cold on the site).

Hotcano Services Page

What we thought about and talked over quite a bit was, how do people buy B2B services? And, for Andrew’s business specifically, if we know he’s going after local businesses, we’re going to have to go a more standard sales funnel route.

It’s really important to ask the question, how is my potential customer used to buying the service I’m offering? If you’re trying something completely new or unique to your industry, are your customers going to get it? Or, should you use a sales strategy that you know works?

Give your customers a logical next step to start working with you (this might not be a buy button).

For Andrew, that meant we needed to focus on convincing a customer that Hotcano was the right fit for them but then give them an action they could take that would make the most logical sense.

We’ll go over more of this in the next section (Step #3) but the two important customer types and actions to identify were:

  1. ๐Ÿคฉ Warm Lead: A potential customer might be ready to hop on a call or submit a contact form after reading the Hotcano website. Let’s give them a form to take that action!
  2. ๐Ÿฅถ Cold Lead: A potential customer just found out about Hotcano and they like what they’ve seen so far but they need more convincing to even fill out a contact form. How can we keep these leads engaged and take them from cold to warm?

Just by having this thought exercise, it was pretty clear that Andrew’s current offering had some big holes in it. Not a big deal for us though, we have big shovels around here! And we’re going to use them in Step #3.

To recap Your Product or Service Offering…

Ensure your offering makes complete sense to your potential customer. You don’t want to run the risk of overwhelming someone to the point of them throwing up their hands and (virtually) walking away from your website.

Especially for B2B biz owners, think about how services are being purchased right now. Is the way you’re positioning your offering going to make sense to them? Or are you applying the sales strategies of a completely different industry?

Don’t forget to focus on the specific needs of your ideal customer and the outcomes your offerings deliver to them. Avoid as many vague industry buzzwords, and instead, explain exactly how your expertise in a few specific areas is going to help them reach their desired outcomes.

โšก๏ธ ACTION STEP FOR YOU โšก๏ธ Take a look at your current Services/Product page. Do you currently have too many options or a disjointed offering experience that’s confusing? Simplify your offerings and provide a next logical step that makes sense for the type of customer who is likely to buy from you (which may NOT be a buy button at all). Make sure you’re speaking to your ideal customer’s problems the entire time.

 


Step 3: Marketing Strategy and Customer Journey

Step 3 Marketing Strategy and Customer Journey

Anyone trying to get clients knows the customer journey from STRANGER โžก๏ธ CUSTOMER can be a long one. For B2B businesses like Hotcano, the steps to go from the “Mainland” to the “Castle” are a lot more high-touch than a digital product (like an online course, etc).

B2B businesses especially have to invest time in creating a natural progression through the “sales cycle.” For someone like Andrew, and maybe someone like you reading this, that means we need solid marketing bridges.

To get more paying clients, you need to build “marketing bridges”

Marketing bridges are what allow people from the Mainland (aka where everyone is hanging out online: social media, searching Google, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, etc) to discover your business and usher them over to your castle (to pay you!)

We can best sum this up in this fun little GIF:

Marketing Bridges connect your customer with your product

A marketing bridge’s job is to lead people on a journey from stranger to customer.

The current marketing bridge that Andrew was using… was… well, there really wasn’t one. And, Andrew, you are NOT ALONE in not having a solid marketing bridge. Many B2B and client-based biz owners think their Services page will do the job for them.

Hotcano current marketing bridge

Because we’ve already identified that the customer sales cycle is going to be a bit longer, we need to extend the marketing bridge a bit further (can you see the bridge getting longer in your mind and more “guideposts” being added along the way?)

Our recommendation for Andrew was to use a Survey to Consultation Call Marketing Bridge. This marketing bridge would work something like this:

Hotcano Survey Marketing Bridge

โœ‹ HEADS-UP โœ‹ If you’re a B2B biz owner (or anyone trying to get clients) we highly recommend trying the Survey to Consulation Call Marketing Bridge tactic. You can read more about this tactic here and learn about other marketing bridges.

Even B2B companies should be using the Email Newsletter Marketing Bridge! (Buzzword/phrase: Nurture those leads)

As we’ve touched on a few times now, the sales cycle from stranger to customer is a bit longer for a client-services company. Knowing this, we also recommended to Andrew that he use the Email Newsletter Marketing Bridge.

This bridge will really capture those leads that are colder and need more nurturing before they’re ready to sign up for a consultation call.

Andrew could send out a bi-weekly email newsletter where he shares specific marketing tactics for local small/mid-sized business owners. If someone isn’t ready to buy after the Survey Marketing Bridge, guess what happens? They get added onto the Email Newsletter Bridge and continue their journey toward the HOTCANOOOOO castle!

Hotcano Email Newsletter Marketing Bridge

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ Whether you’re selling products to customers or services to businesses, someone will likely need 4-7 touchpoints with you before making a purchase. Know this. Embrace this. Understand that multiple marketing bridges might be necessary AND that the time to go from stranger to customer could take weeks/months.

To recap Marketing Strategy and Customer Journey…

Marketing bridges are a must-have for any business owner but especially for B2B folks who have a longer natural sales cycle and higher-priced offerings. If you don’t currently have any marketing bridges or you need some ideas, we put together 13 marketing bridge examples to find one that feels right to you.

โšก๏ธ ACTION STEP FOR YOU โšก๏ธ If you don’t have a marketing bridge in place at all right now, you need one. If you currently have a marketing bridge but it isn’t helping get you more customers, consider trying a new marketing bridge or linking one bridge to another.

 


Step 4: Content Strategy and Audience Building

Step 4 Audience Building

Say it three times with us: ๐Ÿ‘‰Content. ๐Ÿ‘‰Content. ๐Ÿ‘‰Content. We believe content marketing is the #1 strategy to growing an audience and becoming a trusted source around your specific area of expertise. We’ve been using content to build audiences for our various businesses for over a decade, so we have the data to back us up here!

Andrew, admittedly, knows that his content marketing game needs a boost. And hey, you may know you need the same thing. The trick though is to make sure you’re doing content marketing in the right ORDER and using the right MINDSET when it comes to content marketing.

You can’t just write one article, send one email, and post a couple of times on Facebook. Ugh, we wish it was that easy.

We believe in a 3-pronged approach to building an audience, and it comes in the form of a salad metaphor. (Yep, salads. Let’s get healthy with our content, folks!)

3-pronged approach to growing an audience

Build the right audience through foundation articles, a consistent email newsletter, and social media content

Content marketing is probably the biggest area for improvement for Andrew. Now, Andrew’s business is also a young ๐ŸŒ‹, so we’re not trying to beat him up about this. But, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take him through each step of this process and point a few items out.

It’s also important to understand the goal of content marketing for a B2B company: You’re not writing articles, newsletters, and creating social posts for the vanity metrics (the Likes, RTs, etc), you’re doing it to increase leads and sales. Focus on that as your measure of success with content marketing and it’ll be easier to avoid the mindset traps we fall into when posting and sharing content.

๐Ÿฅฌ Salad Lettuce: Foundation articles need to solve problems for your ideal customer AND help promote your offerings.

The first place Andrew needs to start is getting from two current published articles to 8-10 published articles. And, as much as we’d love for him to just write articles about volcanoes and volcano facts ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคž, we actually need him to focus on helping that local small/mid-sized biz owner who is strapped for time and needs help increasing revenue and running a smoother business.

๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฒ Editor’s note: We know Andrew wasn’t going to write articles about volcanoes, that was just a bad joke. OR WAS IT?? (Yeah, it probably was.)

There’s no doubt in our minds that Andrew has PLENTY of marketing knowledge to share. Heck, if he can talk about half of the things in our reorganized marketing list of topics, then he has a plethora of ideas to choose from…

Hotcano service offerings

Looking for article topics to write? Think about the questions people are searching Google for.

The most important piece of advice we can give to Andrew (and you) as he embarks on writing 8-10 foundation articles is to focus the article content on answering questions his ideal customer might be searching for. It’s a waste of time to pontificate and share articles about marketing trends if your ideal customer isn’t searching for those things.

There are a few SEO best practices we’d recommend to Andrew and anyone reading this case study. B2B folks definitely need to think long-term strategy with their articles and basic SEO does matter.

IMPROVEMENT: Andrew needs to crank out 8-10 super-helpful articles that will attract his ideal customer. We recommend improving the readability of his articles AND ensuring each article has at least one marketing bridge added to it for a next action step.

Hotcano foundation article improvments

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ When youโ€™re writing your content, reverse engineer the title by imaging what your ideal client or customer might Google. Your article should be an answer to a question they have.

Also, keep in mind that even if it takes a while for these articles to turn into real consistent traffic to his website, it only serves to reinforce trust and authority for any prospective clients that come to his website through referrals or other avenues.

๐Ÿ… Salad Fixins: Client-based business owners NEED to have an email newsletter and should be sending out consistent newsletters to their subscribers.

When we asked Andrew what his current email newsletter strategy was, his exact words were: “I know my current email newsletter strategy is trash.”

J-Law Spit Take

Legit, we did a spit-take when we heard that from Andrew.

We love a moment of self-awareness when it comes to improving your own business.

Email newsletters can be really daunting, especially when you’re just getting started. As a point of reference for Andrew (and you the person reading this) Caroline and I both started email newsletters with 0 subscribers. Super-fun-fact, Caroline’s first email newsletter went out to just FOUR people (two of which were… us ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ญ).

WHAT’S GREAT: There IS an email signup form on the HOTCANOOOO ๐ŸŒ‹ site. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

IMPROVEMENT: We recommended to Andrew that he start slow and send a two-paragraph newsletter every other week that introduces a marketing technology tool his subscribers (potential clients) didnโ€™t know about. He could also share a short case study with any clients he’s currently working with. The goal is to provide ongoing value and to build trust.

Email newsletter strategy for Hotcano

๐Ÿฅ— Salad Dressing: When it comes to social media, give value where people are and create a cohesive branded experience.

If we could only give Andrew (and you) two CRITICAL pieces of advice when it comes to social media content strategy, it would be this:

๐Ÿค— Give value where people are: We’d love to see Andrew sharing a “Monday Marketing Tip” directly on his Facebook page, Linkedin, etc. Don’t force someone to leave to read the tip elsewhere. Give the value where they are.

๐ŸŽจ Create a cohesive branded experience: For Andrew, he’s already leaning heavily into the ๐ŸŒ‹ theme and we love that! Add more volcano imagery, puns, etc into social content to stand out and have people remember his brand (HOTCANOOOO).

IMPROVEMENT: Once the foundation articles and email newsletter are up and running, Andrew should start investing in delivering immense value to local businesses on the social media platforms he thinks are most relevant to them. Then, pepper in posts that link to marketing bridges, foundation articles, and case studies for his existing clients. No more TRASH! ๐Ÿคฃ

Hotcano social media content marketing improvements

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ Don’t be afraid to put social media content marketing on the backburner. If you don’t have foundation articles and a consistent email newsletter in place, make social media wait in the corner until YOU are ready to invest time on it.

To recap Audience Building…

Think of building an audience like building a salad (a charred wedge salad with EXTRA croutons, obviously). The key to constructing a salad you actually want to eat and an audience that actually grows is assembling things in the right order.

  1. You start with the lettuce (Foundation Articles)
  2. You add your fixins (Email Newsletter)
  3. Then you pour on your dressing (Social Media)

โšก๏ธ ACTION STEP FOR YOU โšก๏ธ Your audience is not going to build itself. Focus less on perfection and more on consistency. Make sure you have 8-10 foundational articles based on what your potential clients are searching for. Send out a helpful consistent email newsletter. THEN, create ongoing branded social media content for your ideal customer.

 


Step 5: Website Evaluation (with Before and After Designs!)

Step 5 Optimizing Your Website

Now that we’re on our third one of these Growing Through It case studies, we know many of you repeat visitors jump right to this section (who doesn’t love a good BEFORE and AFTER??)

We want to give Andrew some credit here, the Hotcano website was already doing a few things well:

We took what Andrew was already doing well with his Home page and added in some of our own WAIM-spice, along with a wayyyy more robust and thorough redesign of his Services page.

Two exercises we use to evaluate B2B website best practices

Home Page Exercise #1: The 4Q’s Clarity Test

Right off the bat, within 30 seconds or less, your website’s home page needs to answer four simple questions your ideal customer is thinking. Yes, we’re going to help you (and Andrew) read minds. ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿง 

The four questions your home page needs to answer right away:

4Qs Clarity Test

Now, how you go about answering those questions leads us into the second website evaluation exercise!

Home Page Exercise #2: APSOSA Framework

If you can’t tell, we love metaphors and acronyms around here. APSOSA stands for:

The Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹ home page was doing an alright job of answering the 4Q’s, but there was definite room for improvement.

The biggest opportunity we saw was in changing some of the messaging points from having it all about Hotcano and what makes them different to really playing up the potential client’s problems and pain points. Make them the hero!

Our goal was to help Andrew convey to his ideal local small/mid-sized business owners that he has the marketing chops they NEED to reach their goals.

So, we filled out the APSOSA Framework for HOTCANOOOO:

APSOSA Framework

Writing out the “answers” to APSOSA helps with the four mind-reading questions. The next step is to take the APSOSA and 4Q’s answers and fit them into a journey a customer can take on a website’s home page. Things like bold headlines, section headers, callouts, etc, become the perfect places to use APSOSA answers!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at Andrew’s redesigned ๐ŸŒ‹ home page!

Hotcano website recommendations

Hotcano home page before and after

โœ‹ HEADS UP โœ‹ We realize not everyone is a designer or has a solid grasp of web design. If that’s you and you know your website needs work, it’s absolutely worth the investment to pay a designer. Especially if you run an online business, your site needs to be a reflection of the amazing work you do!

For a B2B website, Andrew had a solid foundation to work with. The color palette, the brand elements, the typography choices, we didn’t have to do a big overhaul (and we can’t say that’s the case for a lot of B2B websites!)

The thing you’ll notice the most is how much the copy has changed and has been laser-focused around those specific problems Andrew has identified that his ideal customers have.

So often when doing a redesign of an existing website you see people completely overhaul everything. And while we love a fresh coat of paint, we also know that complete design overhauls are not the right answer for everyone.

Remember who the audience is you’re designing your website for!

Andrew is targeting local business owners. Small to mid-sized businesses that may not really care about flashy design trends, parallax scrolling, yadda yadda. While these things are a nice sprinkle of character on a website, if the site itself isn’t speaking DIRECTLY to your ideal audience and persuading them that you have the answers they’re looking for, there’s no amount of website-glitter you can sprinkle to hit your goals!

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ Too many people want to start their website home page’s with their personal story. Even for personal-brand-based sites, we always recommend starting with the PROBLEM your ideal customer has. Then share your story alongside that. Put the customer/client first.

If you work with clients, your Services page should leave no stone left unturned in a potential client’s mind

We aren’t going to sugarcoat it, we went HAM on the Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹ Services page. The page nearly doubled in overall length and we’re not afraid to make changes like that if it helps with business objectives.

Andrew was making a mistake that many biz owners make, his Services page was assuming everyone already knew everything they needed to know and were ready to purchase.

Unfortunately, a verrrrry small percentage of your clients/customers are going to be ready to buy when they click to a Services page (especially for B2B folks, as we’ve discussed).

Take your customers on a journey with your Services page (from their problem to your solution)

Imagine the home page of your website doesn’t exist for a minute. OR imagine a potential customer clicks straight to your Services page and never sees your home page at all. It’s not a great experience if your Services page isn’t telling a compelling story as well.

For Andrew, we wanted to highlight his ideal customer’s problem and then walk them through the Hotcano solutions to that problem.

When a customer finishes reading the Services page and is ready to take the next step, we bring back our decisions made in Steps #2 + #3 of this case study:

  1. ๐Ÿคฉ Warm Lead: A potential client is ready to take the next step, they can fill out the contact form to chat with Andrew about which marketing package is right for them.
  2. ๐Ÿฅถ Cold Lead: A potential client is interested but not quite ready to reach out, they can start the Survey to Consultation Call Marketing Bridge.

We feel confident this new Services page for HOTCANOOOO is going to work on Andrew’s behalf, instead of leaving potential customers confused and unsure if he’s the right fit for their biz.

Hotcano Services Page before and after

๐Ÿ”ฅ HOT TIP ๐Ÿ”ฅ When you’re writing and designing a Services (or Products) page, imagine the person reading the page hasn’t read any other page of your website. Take them through the journey of their problem to your solution and give them the appropriate action to take.

To recap Website Evaluation…

It might surprise you to know we spent the same amount of time in Step #5 for Andrew as we did with our first two Growing Through It case studies. There’s isn’t quite as much design work and that’s because the bulk of our time was spent on strategy and copywriting.

When you’re evaluating your own website, ensure your ideal customers are getting the experience they need. If you know your customer/client could be overwhelmed with extra design and website-glitter, simplify things, and focus more on copy and speaking clearly and concisely.

โšก๏ธ ACTION STEP FOR YOU โšก๏ธ Go through our 4Q’s Clarity Test and APSOSA Framework for your home page right now! Do you pass the 4Q’s test? Does your home page hit on all aspects of APSOSA?

 


Conclusion: Let’s Wrap This Sucker Up!

Recapping the Hotcano case study

WE DID IT! Huzzah! We made it to the end of this case study. Every step along the way we focused on helping a B2B marketing company get more clients.

Whether you own a B2B company or not, our hope is that this case study has shown you how to create more clarity in your messaging, how to hone in your offerings, and how to ensure you’re putting the right steps in place to speak directly to your ideal customers.

As usual, the five steps we went through are just part of the Hotcano ๐ŸŒ‹ journey…

๐Ÿ‘‰ Andrew still has to show up consistently for his audience.
๐Ÿ‘‰ He still has to deliver ongoing and consistent value through content marketing.
๐Ÿ‘‰ He still has to ensure his marketing bridges are working on his behalf to land clients.
๐ŸŽ‰ But he GETS to do all of these things!

Running your own client-service business is incredibly fulfilling and can provide the life you want but it’s not going to happen just because you dream about it happening.

Our hope with this “Growing Through It” series is that we’ve removed a big chunk of that overwhelm and given you a ton of actionable things you can do in your business RIGHT NOW.

Ready to make a few changes in your business? You can do it, friend!

ps – HOTCANOOOOOOO!

B2B Website Best Practices And Marketing Strategy (Detailed Walkthrough)

(Big Fat Takeaway)

If you're a B2B company and not getting as many new clients, have a hard look at your messaging and how you're positioning your services. Remember to think about solving problems for your potential customers, not just listing all the tasks you can do for them.

IT IT

This article written by

Jason Zook

Co-head-hancho of this Wandering Aimfully thing. I used to wear t-shirts for a living, now I just wear them because I'm not a nudist. You can usually find me baking vegan biscuits, watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, or reading Calvin & Hobbes comics. Also, I miss my GeoCities website that was dedicated to Dragon Ball Z.

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